Bearded dragons do close their eyes in normal conditions. However, there are occasions wherein a beardie closes one eye is a sign of health problems. This should cause you to worry as an owner especially if you are a beginner.
So, why does a bearded dragon closes one eye consistently?
There are many potential reasons as to why a bearded dragon closes his one eye. The following are some of the possible causes:
- Stimuli response
- Lack of water intake
- Issues in shedding
- Trapped foreign object in the eye
- Inappropriate lighting setup in the tank
- Inappropriate level of humidity in the tank
As you can see, when a bearded dragon closes one eye, it could be an indicator of possible health problems. As an owner, it is very important that you pay attention to the causes so that you’ll be able to make a counter move.
Immediate action is crucial when it comes to health issues in bearded dragons. I lost a bearded dragon before because acted late. I learned the painful lesson that makes me a better owner.
Fortunately, there are ways or strategies you can implement to fix the health issues in beardies. Let’s talk about them in detail below.
Related Article: Bearded Dragon Closing Eyes When Stroked: Here’s Why
Bearded Dragon One Eye Closed (Causes and Treatments)
Closing one eye in bearded dragons is pretty normal for them. They do it when they are focusing on something. I noticed this behavior when my reptile tries to catch prey. It seems that closing one eye allows him to size up the moving food.
If this is the case in your bearded dragon, then there is nothing to worry about. But if this behavior continues without a valid reason, then something wrong might be happening.
If your beardie has one eye closed consistently, then look for the possible causes. Your bearded dragon might have the following problems:
Parasites are some of the most common causes why bearded dragons close one eye on a consistent basis. These tiny creatures are not new to beardies. They have encountered parasites in the wild.
In captivity, however, parasites can be a health issue especially if their tank or immediate surroundings are not well-maintained. This could potentially raise an issue in reptiles.
The common parasites are mites. These small creatures will take refuge around the eye of the bearded dragon. Because they are too small, human eyes usually are not able to detect them.
If you think that this is the cause of why your beardie is closing one eye consistently, then I suggest you bring him to an experienced reptile vet. The vet will be able to diagnose the problem and give an appropriate intervention.
2. Lack of Water Intake
Another possible cause of why a bearded dragon has one eye closed is dehydration. The lack of water intake can in fact cause many health problems not just closing one eye in bearded dragons.
Other signs of dehydration are sunken eyes and lethargic behavior. It could be that your beardie does not drink enough water from a regular water bowl. I found the same issue with my bearded dragons too.
The solution to this is to use a water dispenser for reptiles (click here to view my recommended water dispenser for reptiles on Amazon). My bearded dragons only drink water from the dispenser and not from the water bowl. Although it is an extra cost to me, it worth it. It keeps my beardies well hydrated.
Related Article: Bearded Dragon Sunken Eyes: Causes and Treatments
3. Issues in Shedding
If closing one eye happens during shedding, there is a high chance that stuck shed is the issue. Sometimes the remaining shed is present around the eye. This is not a considerable problem though. You can easily fix it.
What you can do is soak a cotton pad in warm water and place the cotton on the eye you want to clean. The stuck shed will be easily removed.
Sometimes, beardies with shedding issues may find a place to rub their bodies against to remove the stuck shed on their bodies. This is fine as long as there are no sharp objects in the tank that could cause them harm. Check the accessories you put in the tank and see if they are harmless in case a situation like this occurs.
4. Trapped Foreign Object in the Eye
Another pretty common reason why a bearded dragon has one eye closed consistently is a foreign object stuck in the eye. Dirt and loose substrate are common culprits. This is the reason why using a loose substrate in the beardies’ tank is not a good idea. It could also cause an impaction sometimes.
If this is the case, you can offer help to your beardie by using reptile drops (click here to view my recommended reptile drops on Amazon). Reptile drops have antibacterial properties to not only clean the eye but also treat an infection.
A note of caution, do not wash your beardie’s eye with tap water. This is because tap water is not safe and could only be the source of infection.
If the situation is getting worse, do not hesitate to bring your beardie to a vet for a checkup. Again, if you are not sure whether your first aid works or will it bring any good to your pet, look for professional help.
To avoid this issue from happening again in the future, make sure that there is no loose substrate on the bottom of the habitat. If you can, do not use loose substrate ever again. Instead, choose a more durable and safer material.
For my beardies, I use a reptile carpet (click here to view my recommended reptile carpet on Amazon). This thing is perfect for bearded dragons in keeping them safe.
5. Inappropriate Lighting Setup in the Tank
Another reason why a bearded dragon closes one eye is the bad or improper lighting setup in the tank. Check the lighting because it could be the cause of the issue.
The best bulb is a good source of UVB light. Use the tube lighting that could go across the tank. The tank should be large enough though to allow you to install the tube lighting.
Avoid using coiled bulbs. These bulbs are usually made for plants. The lighting like this is too strong for beardies given that the bulb is placed close to the bearded dragon.
Below are some of the best lighting for bearded dragons I can recommend. You can check them on Amazon.
· Zoo Med Reptisun 10.0 UVB Mini Compact Fluorescent
My first recommendation is the Zoo Med Reptisun (click here to view this bulb on Amazon). What I like about this lighting is that it has an excellent UVB light output and super-efficient. It will not hugely increase your electricity bill. And above all, it can be mounted easily horizontally or vertically.
The reason why this bulb provides maximum UVB emission is that it is using a special UVB transmitting mechanism so that the reptile will be able to get what he/she needs.
· Mega-Ray Mercury Vapor Bulb
The Mega-Ray Mercury Vapor is another great option (click here to view this bulb on Amazon). What I like about this bulb is that it provides a type of UVB light comparable to natural sunlight that beardies enjoyed in the wild. As a result, bearded dragons in captivity will be comfortable in their tank.
This lighting can also provide heat that will in turn give beardies perfect temperature for their basking area. The bulb is designed to last long making it economical.
· MyComfyPets UVB Light and UVA 2-In-1 Reptile Bulb
The MyComfyPets UVB Light (click here to check this bulb on Amazon) is another great option. This lighting does not only provide UVB but also UVA and does not emit UVC which is dangerous to bearded dragons.
Another thing that I love about this bulb is its handiness during installation. It does not need a special fixture to install.
· Zoo Med Reptisun 10.0 High Output UVB Fluorescent Bulb
What I like about the Zoo Med Reptisun (click here to view this bulb on Amazon) is the number of sizes you can choose from. All you need to do is to find out what fits the best in the tank.
This lighting also provides both UVA and UVB for bearded dragons. This is, without a doubt, a good lighting choice.
· Evergreen Pet Supplies 100 Watt UVA UVB Mercury Vapor Bulb
If you are looking for a good source of UVB and UVA lights for your beardies, the Evergreen 100 Watt UVA and UVB Mercury Vapor Bulb is one of the best options (click here to check this bulb on Amazon).
Aside from being handy, it is also cheaper. But low price does not mean low quality. In fact, this bulb is one of the best for bearded dragons.
6. Inappropriate Level of Humidity in the Tank
Low humidity is one of the reasons why a bearded dragon closes his one eye consistently. The ideal humidity level for the bearded dragons’ tank is about 35-40% (according to this source).
It is very important to achieve this humidity level in the tank. You can check it using a hygrometer (click here to check my recommended hygrometer on Amazon).
If low humidity is the problem, there are ways you can raise it. Below are some of the simple steps you can do to increase humidity in your beardies’ tank:
- Identify the warmer spot of the tank and put an additional water dish. Remember to replace the water with the new one every now and then to keep it clean.
- Place plants near the tank to help provide moisture which will also increase humidity.
- Use a reptile fogger (click here to view my recommended fogger on Amazon). Although this is an extra cost, it will dramatically help increase humidity. I use this for beardies too.
But make sure that the moisture is not excessive. Remember that too much humidity may also cause some problems. In bearded dragons, it could cause bacterial infections and potential respiratory disease. So keep an eye on the humidity level on a regular basis.
Final Thoughts on Bearded Dragon One Eye Closed
There are many possible reasons why a bearded dragon keeps its one eye closed. In most cases, closing one eye is normal. But there are some instances wherein closing one eye is indicative of serious health conditions in bearded dragons.
As a bearded dragon owner, make sure to always check your beardie and find out what could possibly cause the issue. If you are not sure what is happening, I suggest that you bring your reptile to a vet for an accurate diagnosis.
I hope this helps. Thank you very much for reading.